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After starting each of the Crimson’s five postseason games, freshman goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer led the Harvard women’s hockey team to the precipice of both ECAC and national titles.
“She just doesn’t have a nerve in her body,” said co-captain and fellow goaltender Laura Bellamy. “She lives for that kind of stuff.”
Coming into the season, Maschmeyer had an impressive pedigree. In high school, the goalkeeper spearheaded a campaign that resulted in an IIHF gold medal for the U18 Canadian team. Yet Maschmeyer did not earn the Harvard women’s hockey starting goaltending position before the season started.
“They weren’t guaranteed the net,” said co-captain Jillian Dempsey of Maschmeyer and Bellamy. “[It fostered] a great sense of competition.”
From the beginning, Maschmeyer found herself in a competition with Bellamy, who was established as the squad’s starter in the middle of her freshman year.
“The competition only made them better,” junior forward Lyndsey Fry said. “It just pushed them both to become better goalies.”
Bellamy was a finalist for last year’s ECAC Student Athlete of the Year award.
“She is such a hard worker,” Maschmeyer said of Bellamy. “I know I can rely on her for anything both on and off the ice.”
Maschmeyer seemed to have no trouble adjusting to her collegiate role. The newcomer, who split time with Bellamy early in the season, capitalized on early opportunities, stopping 72 of the first 75 shots she faced. The performance was good enough to earn the Crimson regulation victories in each of her first four games.
But the freshman standout only got better with time.
“Individually, I felt that I improved a lot,” Maschmeyer said.
Maschmeyer had some of her best performances in the biggest moments. In the ECAC quarterfinals against Dartmouth, the freshman posted back-to-back shutouts.
“She did not play like a freshman,” Dempsey said. “She played like somebody who had been there before.”
The freshman complimented her mentor’s great season and the influence Bellamy had on her own play.
“She is a very skilled goalie,” Maschmeyer said. “I think that we learned a lot from each other on the ice.”
By the season’s end, Bellamy and Maschmeyer ranked first and second in the conference, respectively, in both goals against average and save percentage.
But the numbers do not tell the whole story.
“She’s just so naturally talented,” Bellamy said of Maschmeyer. “She played big-time in big games.”
—Staff writer Daniel A. Grafstein can be reached at email@example.com.
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